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When was the tortilla invented, and what is the story that follows it?


There is a lot of history intertwined with the invention of the tortilla. The tortilla is a type of annular-shaped flatbread primarily made of corn. It can also be made with other ingredients such as flour and various vegetables such as nopal, beet, carrot, and more.

The tortilla is a staple food item in Mexican cuisine. The invention of the tortilla takes a prominent place in Mexican heritage in general.

Where did it all start?

The story begins with a famous Aztec legend. A Mayan countryman allegedly developed tortillas for his famished ruler. Tortillas were initially used around 10,000 BC, and they were constructed out of maize. When the Spanish came, they learned that native peoples such as the Aztecs and several others ate this cornbread. This legend has now been integrated into historical information on Aztec culture. A more detailed and informational story about the tortilla is that tortillas were known as “tlaxcalli” by the Aztecs and other Nahuatl speakers. Nahuatl was the predominant dialect spoken by the Mayans before colonization. Tortillas are a staple of Mesoamerican cuisine, having been invented by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica before colonialism. Moreover, tortillas are among the most popular things eaten in Mexico and are considered necessary in most traditional Mexican dishes. (Alto-Hartley, 2018).

How did the creation of the tortilla develop?

Over time, the tortilla has not only developed into a staple food in Mexican cuisine but has made its way into Western meals with its own “Americanized” version and tastes. Some examples include burritos, Taco Bell, and supermarket tortillas made from various ingredients. Flour tortillas have the most sales within these supermarkets. Moreover, in Mexican cuisine, popular dishes such as enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, and more are dependent on the delicious tortilla to succeed in a flavorful edible experience. Overall, the tortilla is beloved in many places worldwide and is used in multiple creative and yummy ways.

How has the tortilla impacted the food industry and more?

The sales have performed wonderfully in terms of how the tortilla has impacted the food industry. Overall revenue of flour and corn tortillas hit somewhat more than $11 billion in 2013, according to TIA’s “State of the Market Report” presented at last year’s 2014 Technical Conference. According to Transparency Industry Research, the global bread and baked products market will increase by $310 billion by late 2015. (TMR). According to an IBISWorld analysis on tortilla manufacturing in the United States market, tortilla markets have expanded over the last five years, making it the fastest-growing category within the baking business. (Food Business News, 2022). (Food Business News, 2022).

To better understand and appreciate Mexican culture and how the history of the tortillas holds much importance, consider learning Spanish to immerse yourself into Hispanic culture and the heritage fully.

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